Help ... Math Trivia Torture!

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Scott Dautel, Oct 15, 2003.

  1. Scott Dautel

    Scott Dautel Second Unit

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    Here's a trivia question a local math teacher has been using to torture the high school junior class. Winner gets 20 extra credit points for the semester.

    The standard linear equation "y=Mx+B" was developed by Descartes, a French mathematician. The question is .... Why was the letter "M" chosen to represent slope & why was "B" chosen to represent the y-intercept?

    I believe the answer to the first part is "monter" or "to climb" ... a derivative of the french word for rise (slope). I can't guess the history of the "B".
     
  2. Ricardo C

    Ricardo C Producer

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    I'm guessing B = Bifurcation?
     
  3. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    Well I found this with a google search which leads here and states no one knows why m is used. This same article provides the following explanation for b:
     
  4. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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